Google, one of the most powerful tech companies in the world has rejected a call by it’s employees to stop selling software to law enforcement and join the movement to defund the police. Some 1,600 employees signed a petition demanding that the company stop selling products and cancel all current contracts it has with police. The company currently employs over 100,000 employees worldwide, so the petitioners represent a minor fraction of the company’s work force.
Googles products include cloud-based database software which is used by police departments to help more efficiently disseminate data, allowing better access between precincts. Google, through it’s venture capital firm Gradient Ventures, is also involved in AI technology for drones used by police for surveillance. The technology has been used to track invaders crossing the U.S.- Mexico border.
Police departments say they save significant sums of money by using Googles cloud products, instead of licensing with other companies for their database needs.
The petition states that
We’re disappointed to know that Google is still selling to police forces, and advertises its connection with police forces as somehow progressive, and seeks more expansive sales rather than severing ties with police and joining the millions who want to defang and defund these institutions.
We want to be proud of the company we work for. We want the company we build to speak to our values and how we want to show up in the world.